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Job seeking in the Middle East? Start here

Are you seeking a job in the Middle East or the fast-developing (oil-rich) Gulf States? There are many online jobs searching engines and recruitment websites that can help you achieve that. There are also many other recruitment agencies, but you need to go through them with a fine comb. Unfortunately, many of those are plain spammers. Instead of getting to know you and ask what kind of job or employer you’re comfortable with, they will just spam companies with your CV, in the hope that you would land an interview.

Still, there are some decent online recruitment websites that will help you land a job. Based on my personal experience, learned over a decade spent working in Dubai, UAE, I found the following websites worth spending time posting your CV to:

Shocking: It’s whom you know / word of mouth

Forget online job boards, it’s whom you know when you want to land a good job in the Middle East. Companies get dumped with a torrents of CVs of desperate people asking to have any job. (I know, I’ve been there on the other side). So, any headhunting HR personnel will prefer to have their employees / colleagues refer a good candidate then having to sip through endless feed of CVs. Try to befriend people working in the GCC, Middle East, let them inform you whenever there is an opening available. This is how I got my first job in Dubai while I was working in Alexandria, Egypt. My dear friend Rami happened to know that his previous company is looking for an editor. He knew me from before, over the internet. He had seen my work, and he recommended me for this job. Rest is history.

Finding a job in the Middle East requires some thinking outside the box, like here.

Finding a job in the Middle East requires some thinking outside the box. @Flickr

My Personal Best Job Search website:

A respected recruitment site that offers decent job posts, and claims to have millions of CVs, and to deal with over 2,000 reputed employers. Dealing mainly with “White-Collar” jobs, Gulftalent is usually referred by international media sources for its periodic reports about the job market in the Middle East. Gulftalent was launched in 2002, and covers many Middle Eastern and Gulf countries. Recommended.

Read also: In 2012, 66% of ME accountants looked to change their jobs.

Hays is one of the leading recruiters in UK. is their branch in UAE. You won’t find many jobs there, but those job vacancies are the top-notch, white-collar, well-paid ones. Many UK job seekers managed to talk to them first about their CV. If you were on the management / top executive level, with long years of experience, you stand a good chance to land a decent job. There, PA / Secretarial jobs are always on high demand.

Bayt is one of the first recruitment websites completely devoted to the MENA (Middle East and Africa) region. Bayt has a good reputation in the region, and many employers trust them. It’s a good starting point to get a feeling for what kind of jobs are wanted and well paid in the part of the world. Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, Bayt is sometimes notorious for emailing its users advising them to tweak their CVs, and offering their services for this matter, indirectly implying that this will increase their chances to land a job, which is not necessarily true. Oh, and if you were wondering, Bayt in Arabic language means Home.

Read also: Top 10 companies to work for in the UAE


It’s useless, I know! Getting a job from LinkedIn is as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. Still, you need to be on Linkedin with a good-looking profile, so when your future employer wants to check you out, he / she has a LinkedIn profile to start with. You also need to follow certain LinkedIn users who post job openings, like this user below. It’s a good start to search for active LinkedIn users working in the HR field and send them requests to connect. This will allow to know firsthand when they post a job opening.

Follow the right Linkedin users to find the right job

Follow the right Linkedin users to find the right job

Twitter #Hashtags

Some big companies in the Middle East post on their Twitter accounts asking for job candidates. Hence, you should follow the companies you have set your eyes on Twitter. You can also search for job-related hashtags, like #DubaiJobs (see below). Also, follow MiddleEastJob account on Twitter. They actively post job openings in the Middle East. You can also follow our Wajeez account on Twitter, as we sometimes re-post job-related tweets.

Twitter is a good source of job openings, should you follow the right accounts

Twitter is a good source of job openings, should you follow the right accounts claims to be the largest jobs search engine. Monstergulf is catering only to the Middle East region. Operating from India, many registered users have reported Monstergulf’s personnel contacting them over the phone with offers to push their CVs to job advertisers in return for a varying premium. Users who opted for such services did not witness any solid benefits, while some others asked for a refund but never got it. Still, acts as an indicator for what jobs are currently on demand in the Middle East region. It also indicates what salaries to expect.

Read also: Top 10 Stealth Jobs Search Tips is basically an online recruitment operating in India. In 2006 it launched a subsidiary (Naukrigulf) devoted mainly to the Arabian Gulf States market. It claims to have millions of CVs and thousands of fresh jobs offers. Some registered users reported they did not get any benefits from the site’s online services. With many jobs sites going out of business lately, it’s worth your time to check it out. BUT, I would not register there unless I was desperate!

Personal advice:

If you want a decent job, and not just any, then leaving CVs at the door is a definite no. Also, you better read those horrible stories about fake agencies.

Update on October 2016:

GulfTalent published the results of their comprehensive job survey which found out the following:

  • Emirates Group and Unilever are the most popular employers for graduates in the UAE
  • ADNOC and Mubadala are the top choices for Emirati nationals
  • Interesting work, training and brand reputation are the key attractions for graduates when picking their employer of choice
  • Expatriate graduates expect to receive a starting salary of AED 9,000 per month, compared with AED 27,000 expectation of Emirati graduates from the same university

Most popular employers for UAE graduates

  1. Emirates Group
  2. Unilever
  3. Chalhoub Group
  4. GE
  5. Nestlé
2 replies
  1. babar
    babar says:

    I have been getting personal calls from Monstergulf’s personnel to offers to push CVs writing & CV distribution services for $250.
    I am currently in a desperate state and need a job ASAP.
    do you think its feasible for me to pay for this service ?

    looking forward to you reply.

    Thx – B

    • Raouf
      Raouf says:

      Same thing happened to many of my colleagues, and some fell for it, with no tangible effect what so ever.

      My advice, run, run away from those cheeky offers!

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